What began as a somewhat contained civil war between Assad’s regime and the rebel opposition has spread to an international issue. Countries with Syrian borders are becoming directly involved because of warfare and desire for either Syrian side to control the border areas. Near by countries are also becoming involved because of the need for a resolution. Western Nations including the United State, Britain, and France have also become involved in the quest for a resolution because of the immense economic, military, and political power they hold.
The United Nations
The United Nations is also faced with problems resulting from the Syrian civil war. The United Nations Security Council has been called on to facilitate a resolution to facilitate the removal of Assad’s regime. With 13 countries voting in favor of a resolution, but two key players, Russia and China using veto power to negate any chance of a UN resolution1. With neither Russia or China show any interest in budging on their lack of endorsement for military intervention in Syria, the United Nations Security Council is virtually deadlocked.
Issues Presented to the United States
Effects of the Libyan Conflict
As a world power the United States is under pressure to provide continued aid in the Syrian Civil War. However, recent United States military and economic involvement in the long lasting Libyan crisis makes getting involved in Syrian crisis more complicated. Providing political, military, and economic aid to Libya cost the United States one billion dollars. The United States cannot economical afford to fund military support for a drawn out battle in Syria when the United States has already spent 385 million dollars on supplying humanitarian aid to the people of Syria2.
The United States’s reputation cannot afford to do nothing either. The Syrian Civil war has resulted in upwards of 70,000 casualties3. A great percentage of these deaths being innocent civilians. The United States is not directly responsible for the lives lost, but if the U.S. has the resources to help prevent further bloodshed it appears unethical not step in. The longer the United States waits to create a definite plan of action the higher the death toll grows, and the more blood will be shed. However, the United States cannot make a decision purely based on ethics; the safety of its own citizens, military, and economy must be considered.
One of the greatest challenges the United States faces in determining how to act in the Syrian Civil War is deciding what groups in the rebellion can be trusted. The United States lacks a solid relationship with the opposition leaders. There is no guarantee if the U.S. provides weaponry or military training to the Syrian rebels that they won’t end up in the wrong hands. Al-Qaeda has already infiltrated some rebel factions and orchestrated violent bombings against members of the Assad regime, killing innocent people as a consequence. If weaponry and military training are provided by the United States there is a chance these weapons and U.S. trained Syrian rebels could create a future security risk for the United States like war in Afghanistan in the 1980s4. The CIA provided missiles and weaponry to those fighting the Soviet Union only to have to spend precious time and money tracking down those same missiles that landed in the hands of the Taliban to protect the safety of the U.S5. This is a risk the United States cannot afford to make again. There has to be an establishment of trust and stability with the Syrian opposition before the United States can provide lethal weaponry and the support of military troops to the opposition.
B. International issues
Support for the Assad Regime
The United States has requested Russia end supplying arms to Assad’s regime. Putin expresses a very different idea, he believes that since there is no official ban on supplying arms to a legitimate